Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC (JJI) today announced the creation of the Center for Device Innovation at Texas Medical Center (CDI @ TMC), a broad, new collaboration between JJI and TMC that aims to accelerate end-to-end development of breakthrough medical devices. This expands on JJI’s collaboration with TMC established earlier this year with the opening of JLABS @ TMC, combining the resources of the world’s largest medical complex with the capabilities of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies*, to advance the health and well-being of people around the globe.
William E. “Billy” Cohn, M.D., an internationally renowned cardiac surgeon and serial medical device entrepreneur will lead the CDI @ TMC. Dr. Cohn recently joined the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies from the Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Heart Institute (THI), where he was the Director of THI’s Center for Technology and Innovation and the Cullen Cardiovascular Research Laboratory. In his role as Director of the CDI @ TMC, Dr. Cohn will work on cutting-edge internal research and development projects for the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies and with external entrepreneurs and innovators.
“By creating a nexus for innovation, where scientists and engineers of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies can collaborate with academicians, expert clinicians, and external entrepreneurs to leverage the unique size, scope, and capabilities of TMC’s member institutions, we are confident that we can dramatically enhance health care around the world,” said Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson & Johnson.
The CDI @ TMC will include multiple components that will accelerate the development of new medical technologies from concept through commercialization, including a new medical device engineering studio housed at the TMC Innovation Institute. This state-of-the-art “maker space” will be home to R&D staff of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies and will be used to accelerate both select internal projects and strategically aligned ventures of JJI partner companies. The facility will allow rapid prototyping and “fast failure” for early and mid-stage development. Through a series of collaborative agreements, the CDI @ TMC will also have broad access to the preclinical facilities of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Research Institute, and THI that will permit the testing of novel devices for any organ system or disease-based application.
“We are eager for the opportunity to expand our collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation,” said Robert C. Robbins, M.D., President and CEO, TMC. “Working together, we are creating a globally competitive innovation ecosystem here, and the new Center for Device Innovation @ TMC will enable us to expeditiously bring discovery and innovation to fruition, directly improving the health of patients.”
In addition to investing in a world-class innovation facility, JJI’s partnership is expanding innovation collaborations among several TMC member institutions. The alliance with Baylor College of Medicine will foster scientific discovery and promote the commercialization of medical devices using an open innovation model. The collaboration with Houston Methodist Research Institute will facilitate translational research activities in the anticipation of rapidly moving into human clinical trials. To this end, R&D staff and JJI partner companies will also have the use of the Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIESM), a virtual hospital and hands-on clinical training facility, which develops strategies to optimize the introduction of novel device technologies into clinical practice. The relationship with Texas Heart Institute will deepen the scope of research currently devoted to surgical medical devices used to treat patients, helping to make more options commercially available. JJI will join forces with the TMC Clinical Trials Institute to develop and test new paradigms for accelerated medical device clinical trials. Lastly, the CDI @ TMC will have an affiliation with TMC Biodesign, a one-year innovation fellowship program, where Dr. Cohn will continue in his role as a faculty member.